MANILA, Philippines — Isinusulong ni Assistant Senate Minority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III ang pagbuhay ng Republic Act 7659 o Death Penalty Law sa pamamagitan ng lethal injection.
Sa Senate Bill 2080 o “An Act imposing death penalty in the Philippines”, nais ni Sotto na i-repeal o ipawalang bisa ang RA 9346 o ” “An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines.”
Ayon sa pahayag ng senador, nakababahala na ang heinous crimes na nangyayari sa bansa sa kasalukuyan.
Ang mga brutal na krimen na nangyayari sa bansa ay hudyat aniya upang magpatupad ang pamahalaan ng ultimate criminal penalty sa ilalim ng konstitusyon.
“The indiscriminate and horrendous brutality happening everywhere rightfully and justifiably compels the government to resort to the ultimate criminal penalty provided for by no less than our constitution — the death penalty,” pahayag ni Sotto.
Samantala, hindi naman kumbinsido si Senador Sonny Angara sa muling pagbuhay sa parusang kamatayan.
Aniya, “Ilang taon lang yung pag-abolish ng death penalty at naalala natin noong may batas tayo sa death penalty, hindi rin ini-implement ng Supreme Court dahil nakakahanap sila ng yung tinatawag na mitigating circumstance para life imprisonment na lang or reclusion perpetua.”
Ayon pa kay Angara, dapat ay palakasin at tutukan ang kasalukuyang umiiral na mga batas sa pamamagitan ng mga ahensyang inatasang magpatupad nito.
“Tingnan muna natin yung implementasyon ng current na batas dahil ang direksyon nga ng ibang bansa ay wala ng death penalty at mag-focus tayo sa pagpapalakas ng ating law enforcement institutions.”
Matatandaan na pinawalang bisa ang death penalty noong 1987 subalit muling binuhay noong 1993 at pitong tao ang namatay sa pamamagitan ng lethal injection.
Noong 2006, nilagdaan naman dating pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ang isang batas upang tuluyang ibasura ang parusang kamatayan sa bansa.(Bryan De Paz / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)
Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Manny Pacquiao reiterated their support for the reimposition of death penalty for heinous crimes.
During Senate’s regular session on Wednesday (July 29), Pacquiao said reinstating death penalty in the country will not be illegal in the eyes of God.
The Senator previously filed a bill that would impose death penalty on heinous crimes which include manufacturing and trafficking dangerous drugs.
“Hindi po labag sa mata ng gobyerno, sa mata ng Panginoon. Dahil biblically po, allowed po ang gobyerno (It is not illegal in the eyes of the government, in the eyes of the Lord. Because, biblically, the government is allowed to do so) the authority, which is established by God to impose heinous crimes especially death penalty,” Pacquiao said.
Meanwhile, during his privilege speech, Dela Rosa reiterated that reimposing death penalty would be the solution in stopping drug lords and the continuing drug activities inside detention facilities.
The Senator also noted that crime rate has dropped when death penalty was imposed in 1993. He also said that the drug problem is also considered as a global pandemic which should also be prioritized.
“It is also considered a global pandemic itong drug problem. So, hindi naman siguro ibig sabihin na porke tayo may kinakaharap na global pandemic na COVID-19, hihinto na lang tayo sa paggawa ng ibang batas para sa ibang mga issues na kinakaharap ng ating lipunan (This drug problem is also considered as a global pandemic. Just because we are facing the COVID-19 pandemic does not mean we would stop making laws for other issues faced by society),” he said.
Dela Rosa was appointed as a member of a Senate panel under the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights after Senator Sherwin Gatchalian relinquished his seat.
The said Senate panel will vote on bills including the reimposition of death penalty in the country. However, panel chairman Senator Richard Gordon said the bill should be discussed at the proper time.
“I will not sponsor it because I do not believe in it. We will take it up at the proper time,” he said. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Friday said a fresh investigation should be conducted into the alleged corruption at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) following the resignation of one of its officers.
“There must be a full blown Senate investigation. Allegations and denials abound therefore diligence is necessary,” Sotto said in a statement.
“Where there is smoke, there is fire!” he added.
Lawyer Thorrsson Montes Keith resigned from his post in PhilHealth citing “widespread corruption” in the agency as one of his reasons for quitting. He also said in his resignation letter that the mandatory payment of PhilHealth contribution by overseas Filipinos workers was “unconstitutional” and against his personal values to let OFWs “pay for the spillages” of the agency.
He also claimed that there is rampant and patent unfairness in the agency’s promotion process, and that his salary and hazard pay has not been on time since he started investigating Philhealth officers as its “anti-fraud legal officer.”
According to Senator Panfilo Lacson, he is now drafting a resolution seeking for an inquiry into the issue.
“I am now drafting a resolution calling for a Senate Committee of the Whole inquiry. As expressed by SP Sotto to me last night, this inquiry will be one of the Senate’s top agenda after our session resumes on Monday,” Lacson said in a separate statement.
Reports quoting sources said that corruption claims were the topic of an online meeting that led to a shouting match between Philhealth officials on Thursday evening.
“That such corruption occurred amid the COVID-19 crisis makes it more disgusting and abominable,” Lacson said.
“Nakakasuya na sobra. Needless to say, there is urgency that the Senate has to act on the matter immediately, as part of its oversight mandate, having passed the Universal Health Law,” he added.
Last year, the Senate launched a probe into alleged conflict of interest between PhilHealth and the Department of Health. The investigation also covered DOH contracts that went to pharmaceutical firms owned by relatives of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales earlier denied claims of widespread corruption in the agency and called on Keith to substantiate his allegations. He also said that Keith only raised the issue after his application for another post at the agency was turned down.
Morales also denied the alleged resignation of two other PhilHealth officers due to corruption allegations. He said his head executive assistant resigned to pursue his doctoral studies while a corporate counsel denied any news of quitting his post. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – Several senators have lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for signing the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 despite oppositions coming from different sectors.
“Much credit goes to PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte). With all the pressure coming from different directions against the signing of the Anti-Terrorism Bill into law, at the end of the day, it is his strong political will that mattered the most,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said in a statement Friday.
“I cannot imagine this measure being signed under another administration. If only for this, I take my hat off to the president,” he added.
Lacson, one of the principal authors and sponsor of the measure in the Senate, vowed that he would “exert extra effort in guarding against possible abuse in its implementation, notwithstanding all the safeguards incorporated in this landmark legislation.”
Senate President Vicente Sotto III also expressed elation over the enactment of the controversial bill.
“I am glad that the president has sifted through the rubble and saw the importance of the law!” he said in a message to reporters.
Senator Francis Tolentino also called the signing of the law as “very timely” and “historic” as the nation needed the measure.
“It just goes to show that a stable peace and order climate should go hand [in hand] with economic rejuvenation post COVID-19,” he added.
The new law repeals the Human Security Act of 2007 and penalizes those who will propose, incite, conspire, participate in the planning, training, preparation and facilitation of a terrorist act; as well as those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members in a terrorist organization.
The measure allows suspected terrorists to be detained for up to 24 days without warrant. It also authorizes the Anti-Money Laundering Council to freeze the assets and accounts of individuals or groups tagged as terrorists.
Before it was enacted, the bill was met with widespread opposition from different groups who raised concern over its provisions that could be abused by authorities, stifle dissent and spur human rights violations.
But Sotto said the law has enough safeguards to prevent enforcers from abusing their authority.
“It’s full of safeguards but strong against terrorists. Unlike the old law, it was subject to abuse by the terrorists,” Sotto said.
Lacson has repeatedly defended the measure, saying it has enough protection to ensure the rights of those detained.
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